Leave a comment on verse 1 0
Football is cleaning up its act
Racist chanting is not acceptable
But still the spectre of homophobia
Hangs over modern terraces
Name calling abuse threats of violence
“You’re an effin’ queer” snarls out from Anon
No one says anything not worth the risk
Just like it used to be for John Barnes
Back heeling bananas with a dignity
His tormentors could never match
Gay footballers need one as brave
As determined to Stand Up Come Out.
After giving racism the red card, the FA is set to target anti-gay taunts
from The Observer 30/10/05
“Football fans who hurl anti-gay taunts at players, referees and other supporters will be identified and prosecuted in a new clampdown on behaviour at matches.
Following the success of the drive against racism in the game, the Football Association is making the eradication of homophobia its next priority. Footballers are regularly derided from the stands as ‘poofs’ or ‘queers’, for example when they go down injured.
‘There is a problem with homophobic abuse in the game directed at not just players but also referees and also opposing fans,’ said Lucy Faulkner, the FA’s Ethics and Sports Equity Manager. ‘Such behaviour is offensive and runs totally counter to both the game’s family image and efforts to make football more acceptable to all sectors of society.’
In a bid to banish such behaviour, the FA has expanded the role of its freephone hotline for reporting racist incidents at matches to include homophobic comments. It is also overhauling the training it gives match officials so that referees and their assistants recognise and punish such incidents in both the professional and amateur game. Players who use such language may now be shown a red card.
‘Homophobic abuse is a breach of Law 12, which covers offensive, insulting and abusive language on the pitch, and is a red card offence,’ said Faulkner.
‘One referee in grassroots football recently told me that he regularly receives homophobic abuse himself,’ she added.
In the most infamous example of homophobia, Liverpool’s Robbie Fowler bent over and waved his bottom at Chelsea’s Graeme Le Saux. Fowler had already called his opponent a ‘poof’ earlier in the match in February 1999, to which le Saux replied: ‘But I’m married.’ The Liverpool player then said: ‘So was Elton John, mate.’
Ex-Norwich City, Nottingham Forest and Hearts striker Justin Fashanu, Britain’s only openly gay player to date, received horrendous abuse during matches in his career in the Eighties and Nineties and later committed suicide.
The FA is holding its first ‘homophobia summit’ this week. Participants from across the game will be told about the recent conviction – the first of its kind – of a Hull City supporter for hurling anti-gay taunts at Brighton and Hove Albion fans. Hull magistrates court heard how Kevin Smith had chanted ‘indecent’ comments at the visiting spectators when Brighton played Hull in August. He was fined £50, ordered to pay £50 costs and banned from attending any Hull City game for three years.
Brighton fans are regularly subjected to homophobic abuse simply because the city has a large gay population. ‘The other team’s fans often chant “Does your boyfriend know you’re here?”,’ said Faulkner. ‘That, though, is very much at the milder end of the spectrum.’
Michael Collins, spokesman for the Gay Football Supporters’ Network, said: ‘Calling someone a “poof” or a “queer” seems to be the last acceptable thing you can shout at people at matches. Most people wouldn’t racially abuse a black player anymore, but some think that anti-gay taunts are OK.’